Title: The Sign of Four
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Genre: mystery, crime, classic
Order in series: Book # 2 in a series
Release Date: February 1890
Length: 127 pages
(total of 12 chapters)
The Sign of Four is one of Sherlock Holmes’s great adventures, a tale of ‘an injured lady, half a million in treasure, a black cannibal, and a wooden-legged ruffian’.
In the yellow fog of London, a young woman comes to 221b Baker Street with the strange tale of a missing father and the mysterious pearls she is sent anonymously each year. Holmes and Watson are soon swept up in an international puzzle of murder, millions and madness that could cost them their lives.
Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantelpiece, and his hypodermic syringe from its neat morocco case.
What made me get it and thoughts on the cover
What— To continue with the series and read another case that Sherlock Holmes solves.
The cover — Another beautiful Penguin English Library book. I always love seeing the color orange and black together.
So this is the second novel written by Doyle giving us yet another intriguing mystery with a secret that goes 10 years back. There’s a lot of people involved in the stolen treasures, threats, and a secret giver of pearls so, I won’t write in details of what I thought of the story ’cause it’ll take a while, plus, I don’t wanna ruin the feeling of suspense for anyone who might be reading this (though I may have written a few spoilers in my other reviews before, but I won’t do it here).
I will only say that I loved Sherlock’s ways in getting the information he needs from the people he’s talking to without them knowing that they just gave away something very important. Oh, and we’re also introduced to Mary, the lady Watson proposes to (see, I can’t help it. I had to add a spoiler).
Now, I remember reading articles about how people don’t like that Arthur Conan Doyle uses racism in his books. I see what they’re talking about -especially in this book- but I’m telling myself that perhaps at his time it was totally normal to write racist descriptions of characters form certain places. I guess they didn’t know any better, what can I say?!
Full of secrets fit for a suspenseful story. 5/5 stars
‘It is of the first importance,’ he cried, ‘not to allow your judgement to be biased by personal qualities. A client is to me a mere unit, a factor in a problem. The emotional qualities are antagonistic to clear reasoning. I assure you that the most winning woman I ever knew was hanged for poisoning three little children for their insurance-money, and the most repellent man of my acquaintance is a philanthropist who has spent nearly a quarter of a million upon the London poor.’
‘In this case, however -‘
‘I never make exceptions. An exception disproves the rule.’